No, I didn't attend the family reunion. I do know that my great aunt Maggie (Magdeline) has been to a few family reunions in Kentucky. Maggie was married to Paul. They had 3 sons....Paul, Arthur, James.
Paul, her husband, was a brother to James.
If you know of any upcoming family reunions, please let me know...email@example.com
As for the hush-hush secret.....yes, I believe it is true. My mother, Wilma Lea, daughter of James Allen Collins and Stella Mae Terry, has talked about it since I was a child.
She said that both her mother (Terry) and her father (Collins/Carroll) were Cherokee Indian, some how. I have not been able to trace it back, but would LOVE TO REALLY KNOW.
My mother has some old photos. One is particular is of several older female relatives. You can tell by looking at them, that they are Indian.
My mother also said that they moved from Wheelright, KY when she was young...so about 1930's to outside of Charleston, WV and they were given land because of the Indian Heritage. She called it "Squatter's Rights" land.